Ask someone these days, where they get their music from and you're likely to hear a great many answers. This year I added a Spotify subscription to my list of internet radio stations, websites, and other tools that I use to discover, organize, and share new music.
What I found is that Spotify is great for organizing music I like into playlists and sharing it. On the downside, Spotify's predictive algorithm had a very tough time figuring-out what I'd like next. Yesterday I generated a yearly summary of my Spotify listening activity for 2018 and they told me, "You listen to non-mainstream artists 121% more than the average Spotify listener." Shocking.
Here's one of my "non-mainstream" artists that I'm very proud to add to the Lights-Camera-30 playlist for creating my #17 song of 2018: LUMP. LUMP is a collaboration between folk singer/songwriter Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay.
Lindsay is best known as the co-founder of the band Tuung. Tuung is considered to be a pioneer in the newer genre of "folktronica." They released an album of their own this year, which is lurking nearby in the coming days of the countdown. Marling is coming off her highly acclaimed 2017 album, "Semper Femina." She met Lindsay at a Neil Young show and the two decided to start working together.
Lindsay provides what he describes as "Strange wonky music," that provides Marling opportunity and inspiration to take her singing into some unfamiliar territory. LUMP's eponymous debut album was released in June and this song was my favorite track from it. It's called "Rolling Thunder" and it's #17 on the Lights-Camera-30 countdown!
Here's today's photo selection taken from over the Charles River in Boston, looking down on the Zakim Bridge. This was taken in mid-October, so the sun angle is low enough to begin casting-shadows during our afternoon flights.
Today's selection in the Anniversary-30 countdown comes from an artist I could have gone two ways with... Ministry is an industrial rock band formed in Chicago in 1981 by Al Jourgensen. They started-out as a synth-pop band that had landed a hit on the Billboard Dance charts before being signed to their first major-label record deal with Arista. Their 1983 debut LP, "With Sympathy" reached #94 on the Billboard album charts and sold over 100,000 copies. Jourgensen, however, left Arista following a dispute and has despised this first record ever since. The band soon found another major-label suitor in Sire Records and following a transition-album in 1986's "Twitch," emerged as the loud angry industrial Ministry most of us remember from college radio.
1988's "The Land of Rape and Honey" was that first Industrial Rock album from the band and it's 30-years-old. While I certainly played the first track, "Stigmata" enough times on 90.7 FM WKKL (the phone rang many times requesting that one,) I really wasn't a huge fan. For all of Jourgensen's screaming and complaining about the evil record-industry, he delivered Sire (eventually Sire/Warner Brothers) a Gold record for "The Land of Rape and Honey" and Gold & Platinum Records for the next two albums. All of that looks a little more "mainstream" to me than a fun little synth-pop album that "only" 100,000 people bought.
This risks a much bigger discussion about music and how we categorize-it that I'll be glad to expound-upon in the doldrums of January. Until then, I'm going with Ministry's synth-pop debut (which turned 35 this year) and a song I used to introduce this way: "Here's a tune Ministry wrote before someone killed their dog and made them really angry..." It's called "Work for Love" and it's just been added to the Anniversary-30 playlist. Happy listening! - Kristen